Know thy enemy. Keeping up with your Chicago Bulls is crucial to being a devoted fan, but to achieve the ultimate baller-babe status you must also be knowledgeable about the entirety of their Eastern Conference and fiercest competitors. Let’s break it down!
The beasts of the east are separated into three divisions: Atlantic, Central and South East. The Bulls exist within the Central division with the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers. Although division rivalries are generally the biggest, plenty of other rivalries develop throughout the years especially during playoff games. Each year only one Eastern Conference team fights their way through conference playoffs and makes their way to the NBA Championship round.
It seems within the NBA rivalries change most frequently depending on what players are on the team. For instance, back in the ’90s with MJ and Scotty Pippen the Bulls and the New York Knicks had a crazy rivalry, but today the teams just get down to business when they meet on the court. Same goes for the Bulls and the Detroit Pistons, during and after their Championship in 2004 Chicago played hard against the top dogs. Now that the Pistons have fallen to the bottom of the conference it seems the rivalry has fizzled out.
Rivalries add the story lines to sports and make them that much more fun to watch. Get in the know this season and be aware of which teams to pay special attention to. Here the Bulls top Eastern Conference foes in 2012:
Tonight the NBA is announcing the All-Star reserves and I think most Chicago fans have one man in mind for a spot, Mr. Luol Deng.
Deng is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds a game and is probably the Bulls’ best defender. I think he definitely deserves a spot. He’s going up against Celtics vets Ranjon Rondo (who I just can’t stand after he threw a punch at Rose a few years back in the playoffs) and Paul Pierce. Even though Deng missed 7 games due to a torn ligament in his left wrist, after returning the Bulls are 3-0 and have won by 23, 21 and 23 – he’s the man and I’m not the only one who thinks so, he has the support of his teammates and coaches too.
“I hope they’re good,” Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN of Deng’s chances. “You guys who follow our team, I think you understand how important he is to our team. Lu doesn’t have to score to have a great impact on our team and winning. He plays great defense. He plays a great floor game. He moves without the ball. He makes the extra pass. And he has very good statistics, but you can’t measure his impact statistically. I know what he brings. I know all the coaches and all his teammates appreciate everything that he does.”